Auburn Ceases Recruitment of 5-Star Defensive End Ray Drew

Mike Kirkland@@mikey66kContributor IJanuary 26, 2011

Ray Drew
Ray Drew

A while back, Auburn was in good standing for Ray Drew, a defensive end out of Thomasville, GA. Drew is a highly-touted prospect. Drew is rated a 5-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and ESPN (and sits at 4-star on 247sports).

Drew, an ordained minister, stated a few months back that he wasn't naming any leaders for a while, that he just wanted to keep to himself. However, it was common knowledge that the Georgia native was taking hard looks at both his home-state school, Georgia, and Auburn.

I've followed his recruitment closely. Many close to him said that Auburn was his leader and had been for a while.

That all changed today.

Drew was playing head games, it appeared. He took an official visit to Clemson. Later, in an interview about the visit, he said, "War Eagle." He posted a status on his Facebook saying, "WDE."

He also posted one stating, "I just farted and it smells like Bulldogs." Whatever that means. 

I am not judging him for this. I post strange things on my Facebook as well. Some viewed this as immature, however. But it doesn't really matter.

Other Georgia targets were quoted saying that Drew was telling them to join him in Athens.

Drew took an official visit to Miami (FL) as well, and enjoyed himself in Al Golden's territory.

He then said, "No UGA, No Auburn, No LSU. I'm gonna shock the world." Those may or may not have been his exact words.

However, it appears to me that he's just enjoying his recruitment. If I were an 18-year-old 5-star recruit, I'd try to enjoy it too.

Ray Drew was set to announce between Auburn, LSU, Georgia, Clemson and Miami on Friday. Even before now, I expected him to sign with Georgia.

He might. He might not. Regardless, he won't be an Auburn Tiger.

Auburn has been recruiting defensive end Devaunte Sigler for a long time. Sigler ranks nationally as a 3-star prospect. But the Auburn staff were very high on him from the beginning. I've seen his tape. He looks solid. He reminds me a bit of Antonio Coleman. Maybe he'll be that good, I don't know.

Sigler committed today at noon, and 4-star running back Tre Mason committed a few hours later.

I expected these two commitments to happen today. What I didn't expect was what happened next.

Shortly after 5-star running back Isaiah Crowell decided not to officially visit Auburn, Auburn called Drew. They informed him that they were canceling his in-home visit, essentially removing themselves from contention, and wished him the best of luck in his college career.

After landing Sigler, Auburn has cut ties to all defensive line targets except for Gabe Wright, a defensive tackle from Columbus, GA (who, by the way, is perhaps the most crucial piece left in the puzzle). They aren't recruiting any more defensive players at all besides Wright, Erique Florence (who will commit to Auburn on Signing Day), and Marcus Roberson (a Texas Tech commit. You can read more on that here).

I have utmost faith in the coaching staff and I have no choice but to support every decision they make.

However, I find this slightly questionable. If a player of Drew's caliber is considering you, why not let him make his choice?

Granted, the two commits today leaves only four spots open. Auburn would like to close with Gabe Wright, Erique Florence, Brandon Fulse and Cyrus Kouandjio (if I had to guess), which are all likely targets.

I guess I would have liked to see who he committed to without Auburn saying, "not us."

Then again, maybe this news combined with a commitment backed by a sneaky plan was all part of the "shock the world" idea.

Crazier things have happened in recruiting.